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Northwestern to host conference on intellectual disabilities

Portrait of happy women with disability having fun in spring park

Northwestern College will host a new conference on intellectual disabilities, titled “Involve,” on Tuesday, February 11 at DeWitt Learning Commons and Ramaker Center.

During the conference, attendees will focus on how to fully embrace individuals with different intellectual and developmental disabilities. Attendees will learn how to create patterns of inclusion in their communities, classrooms, ministries and direct care services. Educators, school administrators, social workers, church leaders and individuals who work with differently abled individuals are encouraged to attend.

The conference will include a keynote, seven breakout sessions, a virtual autism-reality simulation and a resource fair. Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from a panel of students and parents involved with Northwestern NEXT, a two-year program that offers students with intellectual or developmental disabilities the opportunity to participate in campus life and learning.

Dr. Benjamin Conner, professor of practical theology and director of the graduate certificate in disability and ministry at Western Theological Seminary, will open the conference with a keynote presentation titled “Disabling Education: A First Step Toward Universal Design in Learning.” He will also speak in Northwestern’s chapel service at 11:05 a.m. on Feb. 11.

Breakout sessions during the conference will focus on universal design in learning, behavior strategies, person-first language, inclusion of persons with disabilities at church, enhancing service delivery to individuals with autism, and transitions and adult resources. Conner and regional professionals will lead the sessions.

For more information and the registration go to

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